Cannabis Section

Welcome to LACBA’s New Cannabis Section 

We are “Raising the Bar Higher” and invite you to become a member and join us at a variety of events throughout the year. 


Are there cannabis-related topics you'd like to learn more about?  Do you have comments or questions about our section?   Please contact us via this form.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 and recently adopted a comprehensive and complex regulatory scheme covering the cultivation, manufacture, testing, transportation, and sale of cannabis for both medicinal and adult recreational use.  In addition, communities throughout California independently regulate commercial cannabis according to their own priorities.  At the same time, possession and commercial production, distribution, and sale of cannabis remain unlawful under federal law.  LACBA’s Cannabis Section will provide top-tier continuing legal education concerning the legal cannabis industry and its many complex issues, including: state and local regulatory compliance, corporate and tax structuring, banking, real estate, labor and employment, intellectual property, insurance, litigation, and ethics.  The Cannabis Section will also serve as a source of expertise for other attorneys, government bodies, and the news media on issues regarding cannabis laws, regulations and developments, and serve as a forum for the consideration of public policies dealing with or regarding cannabis generally.  The Cannabis Section will provide regular networking opportunities for legal professionals and industry leaders and will assist and promote the activities of LACBA.

A summary of our regularly planned events is below:

Social Mixers
Join the Cannabis Section at seasonal networking mixers that will rotate around Los Angeles.  The Section will host seasonal mixers at locations where attendees can have fun while getting to know each other.  Locations will include rooftop bars and restaurant patios/event spaces.  Section members will receive special member admission pricing.  [Note: Please let us know if you have connections with locations that you think will be ideal for such gatherings.]

Brown-Bag Gatherings
Join the Cannabis Section at seasonal gatherings that rotate around Los Angeles.  Members of the Executive Committee will host informal gatherings where members of the Cannabis Section can bring a brown-bag lunch and get to know each other while having open conversations on topics of interest to them. These no-charge gatherings will provide members with the opportunity to casually discuss topics of interest while socializing. 

Seasonal Heady Salons
Inspired by high-society salons of the past where participants increased their knowledge through conversations and presentations, the Cannabis Section will host seasonal participatory conversations on specific topics of interest to the legal cannabis industry.  Because developments in the legal cannabis industry happen so fast, the Salons will be up-to-the-moment conversations on one or more timely topics announced shortly before the event.  Some Salons will include special guests and presentations.  Dinner and dessert will be available to all attendees.  Section members will receive special member admission pricing.

Annual Symposium
Join the Cannabis Section at our annual educational symposium.  The Cannabis Section will host a multi-panel, half-day event with top-tier panelists.   The Annual Symposium will provide attendees with a higher education in legal cannabis.  Panelists will be chosen for their knowledge and expertise.  The Annual Symposium will include great opportunities to meet and network with others in attendance and earn CLE hours.  Section members will receive special member admission pricing.


For more information:

Chair - Joshua Mandell:

Vice Chair, Programming - Ariel Clark:

Vice Chair, Communications - Nicole Phillis:

Vice Chair, Membership – Griffen Thorne:

cannabis law mixer flyer

Responding to the needs of lawyers in California and across the country, the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) has approved a new law practice section specifically focused on cannabis, one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With California being a leader in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, having the biggest legal market in the world, and many well-known players operating in the state, attorneys are increasingly playing a huge role in the creation and proliferation of cannabis companies, as well as aligning as trusted advisors in the protection of cannabis businesses. The industry is not without fraught as marijuana use is still federally illegal and lawyers assist cannabis players walk the fragile tightrope.

“The Cannabis Industry is booming, perhaps like the next Gold Rush. LACBA must provide its over 15,000 members with a practice group on the cutting edge of the law. Los Angeles already has countless business practices directly and indirectly involved with cannabis opportunities. The creation of the Cannabis Section within LACBA meets a current need, and provides an important and necessary space for the many types of lawyers who provide legal services to this industry," said Ronald F. Brot, President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Several LACBA member firms practice in the cannabis space making the creation of this law practice section a logical next step. “It is an exciting time in the legal cannabis industry. Things move fast and it can be hard to stay on top of all the developments. One month in this industry is like a year in other industries,” said Josh Mandell of Akerman LLP. Josh, along with Arial Clark, Alex Freedman, and Taylor Wagniere are the founding members of the section. LACBA was founded in 1878 and is one of the largest voluntary metropolitan bar associations in the country, with more than 20,000 members.

For questions about this new section, please email Joshua Mandell at